Back and firing on all cylinders is the way to describe the performance against Villa. Ozil back with another goal and assist. Walcott back with another goal. Giroud continues his fine goal scoring form and King Santi continues with yet another imperious performance (a goal and 2 assists for anyone who missed it!).

There are so many good things to talk about from the performance which leaves me
not knowing where to begin. Let’s go a little left field of the attacking splendour by wanting to once again give deserved praise to Nacho Monreal who has been quite fabulous this season. Gibbs will find it really difficult to get back into the team, as Monreal is really displaying some fighting characteristics at the moment.

The performance of the day has to be between Cazorla and Ozil. I’m inclined to pick Ozil only because he’s still looking for full fitness and producing some quite magical stuff. In fact he’s getting MOTM simply for the flick assist for Giroud’s goal. How are there still clowns around who don’t yet believe he has it? Anyway…

Obviously we were playing Aston Villa who can’t buy a goal at the moment, but you can only beat who’s in front of you. The one thing that will be interesting for next week is that we should have a full suite of players (bar Arteta and Wilshere) to select from. I do wonder how we will go but I think we’ll see Alexis, Welbeck and Giroud playing as a three because we’ll need to be pressing as a team and probably can’t afford the luxury of having Theo or Ozil playing in the wide areas. The real dilemma Wenger will have is to pick either Cazorla or Ozil in the middle. For me it has to be Cazorla as he’s not only completely on his game but he works a little harder than Ozil. If we were at home it may be a more difficult decision but as we’re away I think it has to be Cazorla with Ramsey and Le Coq behind him. I also think Bellerin must continue as his pace will be needed against Townsend and Lennon (if he plays). Lastly Ospina should retain his place as the most impressing part of his game is his composure. His distribution is quick but not rushed and he makes great decisions for set pieces.

Because of other results we’ve closed the gap on City, Chelsea and Southampton. Not a bad weekend by any stretch of the imagination.

Onto deadline day. We’re finally here and don’t seem to be in a stressful situation. We weren’t crying out for multiple signings but one more would have been nice. I think that not being in a position of desperation may well have aided a pursuit of bringing the fabled DM that we needed but alas Wenger thought we’ve got enough for the rest of the season. I really do wonder about his thinking here. In all honesty I have no doubts about us getting into the top 4 but another signing really could have helped an assault for the title itself. I saw a fair few ridiculous rumours about Reus but it’s not that type of signing that would have helped us to a title. As Liverpool showed us last year there’s only so much you can rely on your forwards scoring your way to the title. It’s at the back that trophies are won. I’m a little disappointed in that aspect of the window, which also suggests that Wenger will get one more season. Pinning hopes on a cup victory alongside a top 4 finish is not too unfathomable so fair play to him. I just can’t help but feel that little pang of disappointment at an opportunity missed. We really could be doing more in the title race and one more signing may just have given us the platform to do so. It’s not to say that we can’t do it with what we have but it would rely heavily on the same back 5/6 to do it. Rotation in dealing with fixtures would have been welcome. At least it was a deadline day that we didn’t need to watch in desperation for once and I guess that’s progress.

A last note of discussion on the title race. The weekend gone saw Chelsea take on City at what will now be known as Stampford bridge. Granted they were missing Fabregas and Costa but they showed hardly any ambition during the game, they played as if away from home and produced only 3 shots during the 90 minutes in comparison to City’s 9. Keep in mind that City also had their main man Yaya Toure missing so it was an evenly balanced affair on paper. Mourinho’s teams have won titles by not losing to the big teams around them and that’s obviously the tactic here which may well work in the long run. It’s just a little disappointing to see such a talented squad play some quite boring football at home. Fair enough if it was at the Etihad but to play in such a way at home almost seems as though Mourinho doesn’t have the confidence in his team. Not that I’m complaining – a draw enabled us to close the gap on both teams rather than just one so who cares.

Have a great week people.

Follow me on Twitter @MiteshLakhani1


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